Tagged: Steve Brand

Steve Brand’s Avatara Reviewed by Vital Weekly

Just catching up on posting reviews of Hypnos CDs, this review by Vital Weekly’s Frans DeWaard.

To state that AVATARA (61’16”) is “Experimental” is only half the story. While it is an album of sonic experiments, it is not just a random organization of sound. Ambient artist Steve Brand tells a story – although AVATARA does bring more questions than answers. As it wanders the terrain of the possible this work asks you to adjust your sensitivity to music and its possible variations. Some of the pieces are controlled collisions of carefully rendered tones, while others breathe and expand beautifully across a brain-churning expanse of space. Opening with a curious metallic clamor Brand sets an unusual atmosphere. By continually introducing new timbres and captivating designs, across six tracks he sustains a striking sense of wonder. Moods range from dark and questioning to luminous and hopeful. Born of digital, this experience gets better with each pass. The mind seeks patterns, in the world and in music and art. Works like AVATARA at first seem formless. But one must tolerate being lost to appreciate this music. Through active listening we find this work’s structure and then its meaning – grasping the whole from the sum of its parts. – Chuck van Zyl, STAR’S END Ambient Radio

If you’re looking for a contemplative ambient release with a minimal framework, Steve Brand’s “Avatara” (inspired by the various avatars of various ages and cultures) could be an appropriate choice. I for one would classify it as high-quality contemplative music, due to its ongoing gentle flow of textural pads with occasional mystic undercurrents and nature sounds. The six meandering tracks feature spacious music for slow, silent times and meditation, smoothly opening the gate to a world of splendour and wonder.
“Avatara’s” longform soundcape music, devoid of any rhythm, is great to escape from the rat race of modern life, as it makes the busy mind settle down bit by bit along the way. – Bert Strolenberg SonicImmersion.org

Following the abundance of the name Augur, Steve Brand now works under his own name. I must admit I didn’t hear a lot of his solo music, which was released solo as well as in collaboration with Ishq and Disturbed Earth, and hearing Augur is a long time ago, but there have been some changes in his music too. Augur was more on the experimental edge of ambient music, whereas his current direction is more along the lines of what Hypnos is in general about: long sustaining patterns of sounds, based on synthesizers or perhaps any type of sound processing which goes on for quite some time (maybe field recordings?) and on top there is the rattle of percussive sounds. ‘Avatara’ means ‘descent’ in Sanskrit, ‘in the sense of a deity’s descent from heaven to earth’ and this the main idea behind the album, the descent of avatars in various cultures. On a somewhat grey and cloudy day, like today happens to be, this ambient music in which the element of percussion is kept to a minimum, compared to his previous ‘Children Of Alcyone’ (see Vital Weekly 712), in favor of more drone like music, makes perfect sense. Majestically it unfolds itself. Great one.
–Reviewed by Frans DeWaard, Vital Weekly

Purchase for $12.99 on Hypnos Online Store

Steve Brand Catalyst and Sunprints Back in Stock

Since we discontinued creating CDR versions of the releases on the Relaxed Machinery label, some of
the label’s artists have created their own CDR editions. Here are two from the always-popular Steve Brand.


Steve brand – Catalyst (CDR)
(Relaxed Machinery section)
(Price: $12.99 CDR)

“Catalyst” – four cavernous, ethereal, sentimental and lilting inscapes timing in at just over an hour. Instruments used on Catalyst include, keyboards textures, shakers, voice, conch, kora, bamboo chimes and field recordings.

Steve Brand says:

Catalyst was started in 2010 and completed in late 2011. 2010 reduces to three, which in a spiritual sense indicates catalyst, fecundity, magic and intuition. 2011 reduces to four, which indicates Earth, groundedness, solidity, calmness and home (which were a welcome respite from the previous years experiences). I was (and am) experiencing all of these, sometimes all at once, and I continue to feel their presence at work in my life. Because of the power of these experiences in my life, I felt compelled to make a group of songs that embodied the feeling and presence of these forces—which I think are powerful tools that can act as a catalyst for growth, meaning and an expanded way of living and being
…. (MORE/BUY)


Steve brand – Sunprints (CDR)
(Relaxed Machinery section)
(Price: $12.99 CDR)

Sunprints is comprised of five quiet, and sometimes intimate, atmospheres focused around nature. Sunprints is dedicated to my mentor, Nadja, and accomplished with kora, zither, kalimba, shakers, bells, cymbals, gongs, conch, bone, cane and cedar flutes, didgeridoo, whistles voice, accordion, gutterphone, field recordings and keyboards. The final track, Sunprints, was created just for this 2012 re-release…. (MORE/BUY)

Ping Things Reviews Avatara by Steve Brand

You can read the full review of Steve Brand’s Avatara by Rik of Ping Things HERE. An excerpt:

“Steve Brand’s “Avatara” seriously impresses me. It’s a beautiful release that envelops me as I listen, a circular cycle of music where an organic atmosphere is formed by a delicate blend of echoing drones and quiet percussion elements.”

Follow the link above to read the complete review. Our thanks to Rik for the coverage!

You can also purchase Avatara from Ping Things via that link above (may be advantageous for those of you in Canada) or from Hypnos at this link: Avatara for $12.99

To Be Deleted Soon: Bridge to Nowhere by Steve Brand

In mid to late February, Steve Brand will be self-releasing his album Bridge to Nowhere, and at that time, the Hypnos Secret Sounds CDR version will no longer be available.

If you’d like a copy of our edition, we still have them for sale for $9.99 HERE.

We’ll likely sell Steve’s self-released version when it’s ready, though that will probably be more expensive.

Relaxed Machinery CDR Release – “Catalyst”

Steve Brand’s new album “Catalyst” is the latest Relaxed Machinery CDR added to the Hypnos Store.

Steve Brand – Catalyst (cdr)
(Relaxed Machinery category)
(Price: $9.99 cdr)

Release Info:

“Catalyst”—four cavernous, ethereal, sentimental and lilting inscapes timing in at just over an hour. Instruments used on Catalyst include, keyboards textures, shakers, voice, conch, kora, bamboo chimes and field recordings.

Catalyst was started in 2010 and completed in late 2011. 2010 reduces to 3, which in a spiritual sense, indicate catalyst, fecundity, magic and intuition. 2011, reduces to 4, which indicates Earth, groundedness, solidity, calmness and home (which were a welcome respite from the previous years experiences). I was (and am) experiencing all of these, sometimes all at once, and I continue to feel their presence at work in my life. Because of the power of these experiences in my life, I felt compelled to make a group of songs that embodied the feeling and presence of these forces—which I think are powerful tools that can act as a catalyst for growth, meaning and an expanded way of living and being.

The cover, inside spread and wallpaper photos all depict ephemeral light phenomena…light passing through objects, reflected and refracted from objects which in some cases, only lasted for a few minutes. I feel that these images perfectly capture the idea that if we attention we see the magical that is just behind the facade of the ordinary.
For Nadja, with whose continued assistance and love, so much is possible.

MP3 sample clip
…or…
Steve Brand_Catalyst_Samples by Steve Brand

Track listing:

1. amniotic light [11:44]
2. catalyst [17:13]
3. deep into it [16:19]
4. the track of the moon on water [18:00]


More info / buy for $9.99